HTC U Ultra and U Play Smartphones

HTC recently launched two smartphone models to their line up, the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play smartphones. These two smartphones are designed with You (U) the smartphone user in mind. These two HTC U smartphones have things in common yet they are also distinctively different and unique, catering for different groups of users.

During a recent HTC event, I had a short hands on session with the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play. Both smartphones have their own distinct strengths and designs. Personally, I prefer the HTC U Ultra for its HTC BoomSound, its size for me to view my documents and data and the new Dual Display.

Let me share with you more details on each of the two HTC U smartphones, their distinct features and personality.

HTC U Ultra 

Reflects U

A new, beautifully 3D contoured, liquid surface that’s designed to reflect the best you. Lustrous, symmetrical, curved glass construction1 reflects light beautifully. Color from vapored minerals layered to add depth and brilliance from every angle. As the polished surface bends and blends seamlessly into the side of the phone. Allowing it to nestle perfectly in your hand.

Learns from U

Introducing HTC Sense Companion2. The personal companion who is always learning from you. Suggesting you dress warm and leave for work earlier on a snowy day. Or reminding you to charge if it figures you need more power to last until you get home and even recommending the perfect restaurant when you’re away for the weekend. It knows you – and it’s made to evolve and get to know you better over time.3

Responds to U

Voice recognition – the most natural way to interact. HTC U Ultra can recognize your voice and respond, even if it’s asleep. Navigate your phone, take or reject calls, snooze or dismiss alarms, and more. Just say the word.

Puts U on top

Get updated, not interrupted. The new Dual Display gives you the information you need, at your fingertips. Perfect for fast, convenient access to the things you use the most. Like your favorite contacts, apps, reminders, event notifications and more. Because what’s important to you should always be right on top.

Listens to U

Every person’s inner ear is as unique as their fingerprint HTC USonic4 analyzes your inner ears with a sonar-like pulse, and then adapts to you. Like having a sound engineer in your phone. Tiny microphones listen for the sonic reflection in your ears. One in the left ear, one in the right. Analyzing the reflected tone to optimize the headset just for you. Now you can hear the details you were missing. Whether you’re in a library or at a party, you can adapt your headset to suit noise levels around you.

HTC BoomSoundTM

Hi-Fi edition speakers deliver pulse-pounding audio. Featuring separated sound design like leading acoustic systems Tweeter above, woofer below, while four omnidirectional mics capture positional sound Recording 360-degree immersive audio that’s just like being there. At the rock show. In the concert hall. Anywhere you want.

Captures U

Every phone camera claims to take great photos. Ours is rated the industry’s best. The 12MP UltraPixel main camera delivers less blur, faster focus, better photos at night. Because every photo is important to you, anytime, anywhere.

Pick the Best U

Take brilliant selfies anyway you like, easily switch between 16MP and UltraPixelTM in the front camera5, so you can choose between unparalleled light sensitivity* of UltraPixel, perfect for candlelit dinners, or the high resolution of 16MP, when you want the biggest shot with the most detail.

HTC U Play

Reflects U

Shine on with the 5.2” smartphone designed to reflect the best you. A new, beautifully 3D contoured, liquid surface. Lustrous, symmetrical, curved glass construction1 reflects light beautifully. Color from vapored minerals layered to add depth and brilliance from every angle

Learns from U

HTC U Play comes with HTC Sense Companion2. The personal companion who is always learning from you. It even comes with voice recognition built-in. So it’s able to respond to your voice – Just say the word to navigate your phone, take or reject incoming calls, snooze or dismiss an alarm, send messages and even begin hands-free navigation. It knows you – and it’s made to evolve and get to know you better over time.3

Listens to U

Every person’s inner ear is as unique as their fingerprint HTC USonic4 analyzes your inner ears with a sonar-like pulse, and then adapts to you. Like having a sound engineer in your phone. Tiny microphones listen for the sonic reflection in your ears, One in the left ear, one in the right. Analyzing the reflected tone to optimize the headset just for you. Now you can hear the details you were missing. Whether you’re in a library or at a party, you can adapt your headset to suit noise levels around you.

Captures U

Take brilliant selfies anyway you like, easily switch between 16MP and UltraPixelTM in the front camera5. So you can choose between unparalleled light sensitivity* of UltraPixel or the high resolution of 16MP for whatever meets your need. The 16MP main camera delivers less blur, faster focus, better photos at night. Because you never want to miss that perfect moment.

The HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play caters for different groups of smartphone users, which of the two suits you better? Head over to HTC website, would you like the HTC U Ultra or HTC U Play?

* Information and pictures courtesy of HTC *

Singtel Group launched The 5-Min Video Challenge

The Singtel Group recently launched a competition to drive content innovation in all its markets that they operates in. Content nowadays in today’s climate and connectivity, on the internet, social media channels along with mobile data usage, it is getting more important and significance as we users are consuming a lot more digital content and diversified digital content (from news, articles, stories to entertainment) as well.

Nowadays, video is getting a lot more attention, usage and consumption. They are going to play a bigger role in the years to come and with 5G coming into the market, mobile data consumption of video content is going to increase.

Let me share with you the information and details of The 5-Min Video Challenge by Singtel Group from the press release information below –

The Singtel Group has launched ‘The 5-Min Video Challenge’ as part of efforts to drive content innovation in all its markets. The competition is a joint initiative by associates within the Group, comprising Singtel, Optus, AIS, Airtel, Globe and Telkomsel. Winning content will be distributed and made accessible to over 600 million customers across the Group.

Content is a big part of the Group’s strategy to connect with customers as the proliferation of mobile devices has fuelled demand for online video entertainment. The short five-minute format is ideal for audiences accustomed to viewing content on mobile devices.

Mr Mark Chong, CEO, International, Singtel, said, “We are making a big push in digital content as consumers have radically changed the way they consume entertainment. For many of Singtel’s more than 600 million customers, the mobile phone is also the only way for them to access the internet. A pan-regional competition makes a lot of sense as the power of content is its ability to transcend geographical and language barriers. Our customers will be able to enjoy access to a rich variety of original content created by the most talented content-makers from the region.”

The competition will be conducted at two levels – local and regional. Each associate will first invite aspiring or experienced local filmmakers to submit five-minute entries based on the theme “Connecting Lives”. The entries will be judged on criteria such as originality of content, storytelling and cinematography. Winning entries from the respective associates’ markets will then be judged at a regional level.

Mr Chong added, “The theme “Connecting Lives” resonates with Singtel’s business of keeping people connected and how human connections can drive positive change in our everyday lives. We hope to discover new talent and concepts that we can work with on future projects for the Group’s mobile and video platforms such as Globe Studios and AIS Play.”

Mr Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of Advanced Info Service Plc., said: “Thailand has seen exponential growth in video content consumption. This is because it thoroughly responds to the needs of modern consumers. Another important contributor to growth is the strong digital infrastructure of AIS together with its mobile technologies including 4G, 4.5G, Super WiFi and the AIS Fibre fixed broadband network. As well, rapid growth in access to affordable smartphones at the mass-market level is another significant factor sparking the video content boom.”

“Therefore, we’re proud to play a part in organising this video content competition. We wish to work with new faces, as our content partners, in the video content creation business. From this competition, we expect to find the best video content to present even more variety to AIS customers via the AIS Play video platform,” Mr Lertsutiwong said.

Two videos will be shortlisted from each associate’s market and a total of 14 videos will enter the regional level of the competition.

The grand winner and runner-up will be announced at the grand finals, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand on 21 November 2016. Cash prizes of US$30,000 and US$15,000 will be awarded to the grand winner and runner-up respectively. The regional winners will also get the opportunity to promote their videos on each associate’s mobile and video platforms to customers in the Group’s markets across Asia, Africa and Australia.

To find out more about The 5-min Video Challenge, visit www.the5minvideo.com.

* Information courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

The Internet of Things

A phrase that had probably been in the minds and brains of corporations, businesses and technology firms. I might have been a bit slower to learn about this phrase yet I am experiencing it first hand, like many other people too, on an everyday basis in some ways or another, in my work or in my personal life for the past 5-10 years. The world of internet, technology, devices, computers, tablets, smartphones, coupled with the power, diversity of social media channels and platforms, in the past 5-10 years had risen and metamorphosis exponentially.

This is the Internet of Things, let me welcome you to the Internet of Things or have you just realised that you are already in the world of the Internet of Things?

During my media trip to Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, I heard about this phrase – “Internet of Things” from Mr Fujio Mitarai, Chairman & CEO of Canon Inc, during his keynote speech. I wrote this phrase down inside my special Moleskine Canon EOS-1DX Mark II book, I would be sharing more about Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai, do keep a lookout for them! First, let me share a key point that I wrote down during Mr Fujio Mitarai keynote speech ~

“Internet of Things is opening up new worlds”

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is the network of physical objects such as devices, gadgets that has software, electronics, sensors and network connectivity that enables theses objects to collect and exchange data (Source: Wikipedia)

A line from Salesforce articleEveryday objects are also using the Internet to connect to the cloud forming an “Internet of Things”  

The Internet of Things is an extension from the growth, proliferation and expansion of key devices/gadgets and technology such as the smartphones and tablets, 4G, Cloud storage/computing, coupled and growing together with social media channels and platforms. Our lifestyle, our workflow, our gadgets, our devices, our consumption of the internet, mobile data and social media, this is indeed the Internet of Things. We are living in a highly connected smart world with our smart devices constantly connected to the internet, social media, technology, business, work and personal life.

The Internet of Things would be an area that I would be covering, starting from Canon Expo 2016 Shanghai experiences with my knowledge from using Canon’s DSLR cameras and Canon’s connection with customers through Canon’s Internet of Things.

Internet of Things is the next growth area, revolutionising business and their outreach towards their customers with technology, connectivity and gadgets. This growth area is estimated to be worth a potential of $14.4 trillion for companies worldwide (Source: Salesforce)

Internet of Things, connecting people, connecting technology, connecting eco-systems between people, devices and technology. Is the Internet of Things a whole new world out there or is it a world growing more connected?

LG Magna LTE

LG Electronics recently introduced a new smartphone to their family of LG Smartphones, the LG Magna LTE. The LG Magna LTE is the addition to their mid-range LG smartphone family.

Let me share with you more information and photos of the LG Magna LTE from the press release –

LG Electronics announced the launch of LG Magna LTE, the new addition joining LG’s mid-range smartphone series. This premium but affordable series comprised of Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) where it was noted for bringing sophisticated design, optimized performance and effortless user experience to a broader range of consumers.

LG Magna (LTE)_Gold_onshot_04

LG Magna (LTE)_Gold_onshot_05

LG Magna (LTE)_Titan_onshot_05

By combining the most essential hardware with LG’s premium design elements and user experience, LG has created the perfect balance of style and usability. The LG Magna LTE is designed to fit more comfortably in the palm of one’s hand with its subtle 3000mm radius curved display. In-cell touch display technology on the Magna brings the on-screen images closer to the fingers for improved sensitivity and more direct touch response. In addition, LG is carrying over popular UX features originally designed for its premium smartphones. Gesture Shot, for instance, makes it easy to take selfies with a hand gesture that starts a three-second countdown. Glance View allows users to quickly access key information such as time, recent messages or missed calls with a simple downward swipe of the screen, even when the display is off.

“We want to cater to customers who are looking for mid-range priced smartphones that have both advanced features and sleek design. With that in mind, we designed LG Magna to inherit features from our premium flagship smartphones such as Gesture Shot and the ergonomic curved design. We believe the LG Magna will be at attractive option for consumers in Singapore,” said Mr. Scott Jung, Managing Director of LG Electronics Singapore.

The LG Magna will be available from 25 July 2015 in Gold and Titan colors, retailing for $328 from M1 and StarHub.

Specification Summary

  • Networks: LTE 700/900/1800/2600; WCDMA 850/900/2100; GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Speed: LTE Cat 4 up to 150Mbps DL, up to 50Mbps UL; DC HSPA+ up to 42Mbps DL
  • Display: 5” HD Display, (1280×720; 294ppi); Capacitive Touch display
  • OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • Memory: Up to 8GB ROM / 1GB RAM / microSD slot (up to 32GB)
  • Camera: Rear 8MP AF / Front 5MP
  • Size/Weight: 7mm x 69.9mm x 10.2mm (LxWxT) / 137g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.1, A-GPS/ Glonass, USB 2.0
  • Processor: MTK MT6732 1.5GHz Quad Core
  • Audio: MP3 player, Audio jack: 3.5mm, supporting codecs incl.: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA
  • Battery: 2,540mAh (Removable)

For more information on LG Magna LTE, please visit www.lg.com/sg

* Information and Pictures Courtesy of LG Electronics Singapore and Brand Cellar *

OtterBox Ultra-Protective Cases for iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 had been released for a few months and I finally managed to get hold of the new iPhone 6 64 GB Space Grey model not too long ago! I like the sleek design and size of the iPhone 6, however, it can be pretty slippery at times holding on the iPhone 6 and sometimes it slipped off my hands even though I am careful with it! Having a protective case for the iPhone 6 is definitely a good idea, let me share with you about the OtterBox ultra-protective cases for iPhone 6!

Before that, here’s a video to share with you about OtterBox –

OtterBox launched ultra-protective cases for iPhone 6, the latest cases to their collection! With different designs, colours and models, there is a OtterBox protective case for different levels of protection, fits for all occasions and lifestyles! Here are the OtterBox models for the iPhone 6

Commuter Series [RRP 49 SGD] is a sleek and sturdy two-piece case that protects from everyday bumps and drops.

APL4-AMP600-5T-frd

Symmetry Series [RRP 49 SGD] is an ultra slim, stylish and pocket friendly case – with all of the protection you’d expect from OtterBox. Perfect for those who want protection, without compromising the sleek and slim look of their new iPhone. The best of both worlds!

APL28-AMP600-9U-bl

Defender Series [RRP 69 RRP] is a triple-layer, ultra-rugged case built for the most adventurous types. With a built in screen protector, the case also has a protective membrane which covers the Touch ID, blocking debris, dust and grime – and a handy belt-clip holster hands-free and ‘not-to-miss moments’.

APL2-AMP600-J8-br

The cases come in a full spectrum of colours and will retail at the following prices:

Series SGD
Defender 69
Commuter 49
Symmetry 49
Symmetry IML 59

iPhone 6 cases are now available at http://www.otterbox.asia/ or from selected local retailers.

The OtterBox case that I got as a gift was the Symmetry series, it is sleek, stylish and ultra slim, the best of both worlds without compromising safety and unique features of the iPhone 6. If you are looking for a protective phone cover for your iPhone 6, you can definitely consider OtterBox collection of ultra-protective cases for iPhone 6, there is a model suitable for everybody!

* Information, pictures and details courtesy of OtterBox and Ogilvy Public Relations *

Logitech Multi-Device Keyboard K480

Logitech recently announced their Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480, a cross-device keyboard that works with your computer, tablet and smartphone. I find it very interesting and useful from the information and looking at the pictures of the Multi-Device Keyboard K480 because in our modern and highly connected society today, we carry many devices, for example, I myself, carry a MacBook Pro 15, iPad 3rd Generation, iPhone 5 and LG G3, almost daily. The Logitech Multi-Device Keyboard K480 might be a good fit and solution to place my iPhone 5 and LG G3 together during work and leisure time. I hope to review it and share more about them in the near future when the opportunity arises!

Custom_format_K480_BLACK_ENVIRO

Let me share with you more about the Logitech Multi-Device Keyboard K480, it is the first desk keyboard designed for use with up to three devices, regardless of computing platform. Now you can type a report on your computer and, with the flick of the Easy-Switch™ dial, respond to a message on your smartphone and type a tweet on your tablet. The universal keyboard can connect to three different Bluetooth wireless devices at once, whether you are using a Windows®, Mac® or Chrome OS™ computer, or an Android™ or iOS tablet or smartphone.

“Typing needs have evolved and consumers are computing and texting across multiple screens, often using two or three different operating systems,” said Moninder Jain, Managing Director for Logitech Southeast Asia and India. “The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 makes it simple for people to work, create or communicate quickly and comfortably, no matter what computing device or platform they are using.” 

Custom_format_K480_BLACK_FOB

You can type in comfort on a full-size desk keyboard with a familiar layout and all the shortcut keys you use the most. The durable, integrated stand firmly holds your phone or tablet at just the right angle for you to read while you type. With a choice of two color schemes, the keyboard is designed to blend into your home decor without sacrificing style.

 Key Features 

  • Type on anything: A computer keyboard for your desk that also works with your tablet and smartphone.
  • Easy-Switch™ dial: Simply turn the dial to seamlessly switch among up to three Bluetooth wireless devices.
  • Multi-OS: A familiar keyboard layout with all the shortcut keys you use the most, whether you’re typing on a Windows, Mac or Chrome computer, or an Android or iOS tablet or smartphone.
  • Integrated stand: Hold your mobile device at just the right angle to read while you type in comfort.

System Requirements 

  • Bluetooth wireless technology enabled computers or mobile devices that support external keyboards (HID profile). Check device manufacturer for details.
  • PC: Windows® 7, Windows® 8 or later
  • Mac: Mac OS X® or later
  • Chrome OS™
  • Apple® iPad® or iPhone®: iOS 5 or later
  • Android™ tablet or smartphone: Android 3.2 or later.
  • Internet connection (for software download)

Custom_format_K480_WHITE_PROFILE_INUSE

Product Specifications 

  • Dimensions: – Height: 20 mm (or 0.79 inches) – Width: 299 mm (or 11.77 inches) – Depth: 195 mm (or 7.68 inches) – Weight: 820 grams (or 1.8 pounds)

Bluetooth range: up to 10 m (30 feet)**

– Battery life: 2 years*** Logitech® Bluetooth® Multi-Device Keyboard K480 Fact Sheet – Page 2 

Warranty 

  • 1-year limited hardware warranty

*Smartphones and tablets up to 11mm thick, 26cm wide (up to and including 11’ tablets), or 2.5kg weight

** Bluetooth wireless devices that support external keyboards (HID profile).

*** Battery life calculation based on an estimated two million keystrokes/year.

Pricing and Availability 

The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 is expected to be available in Singapore from mid-September 2014, for a suggested retail price of SGD$59. For more information, please visit www.logitech.com/news/K480 or our blog.

* Information, Details and Pictures Courtesy of Logitech Singapore and SPRG *

Smartphones – Must Have Holiday Companions for Today’s Travellers

Do you remember the time when you travel overseas for a holiday, a travel guide book such as Lonely Planet is your must have travel companion? Just around a period of maybe 10 years, travel patterns and habits have changed tremendously with the emergence of social media and information technology gadgets such as our smartphones and tablets. How has smartphones changed our modern traveling patterns, planning and usage? Let me share with you a finding by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and IHG Rewards Club on the impact and influence of smartphones in today’s travellers!

According to the research by IHG® Rewards Club, nearly 40% of travellers agree that their smartphone is the most important item to take onholiday – and 67% agree that they will use it every single day. As a result, 1 in 10 travellers clock an impressive average of 70 hours online while on holiday – almost 20% of the actual time spent on a two week holiday.IHG Rewards Club is the first and largest hotel loyalty programme in the world, with over 80 million members worldwide. IHG is one of the world’s leading hotel companies, with over 4,700 hotels around the world and a family of nine trusted hotel brands.

IHG Rewards Club members are IHG’s most valued guests. In line with its aim of rewarding them for their loyalty, it surveyed more than 10,000 of its members worldwide in order to gain further insight into their relationships with their loyalty programme and to learn more about their travel needs. The survey found that the smartphone is fast replacing the traditional postcard with 64% of respondents saying they use it to text friends and another 32% to Skype friends and family back home, while on holiday. However, recounting holiday experiences with friends and family still remains one of the most enjoyable ways of sharing a holiday, with one in ten travellers saying this is as enjoyable as the holiday itself.

Planning a holiday is, nearly, half the fun – (45%) of all travellers say it is the best part of a holiday and more than half (57%) use their smartphones to book vacations.

 Susanna Freer-Epstein, Senior Vice President Customer Loyalty Marketing, IHG said:

? “IHG is a brand and consumer driven company. We use insight to anticipate consumer trends and behaviour. This research shows how mobile technology is revolutionising the holiday experience – from enabling travellers to dream about and plan their holidays, to helping enjoy the trip itself and share their experiences with their friends and family.” 

The survey also uncovered that 42% of travellers check social media every day while on holiday, with 25% of them even saying they always check Facebook before going to sleep. While taking in the sights and attractions, more than half (51%) of travellers also prefer to use their smartphones to take pictures instead of digital cameras.

As part of the global survey, IHG Rewards Club has launched a digital hub at www.ihg.com/rewardingexperiences.  It showcases the experiences available to over 80 million members worldwide – from a cultural experience at some of the world’s most famous museums, to a special family celebration or a once in-a-lifetime relaxing spa experience. It includes reviews from members and global travellers from all around the world. IHG Rewards Club offers advantages that no other hotel company can match including; free guest Internet for all IHG Rewards Club members worldwide, across the IHG brand family and no blackout dates on Reward Nights – a loyalty programme purposefully designed to see the customer win. Additionally, as of July 1st 2014, members will also earn more IHG Rewards Club points when they stay at any of the 178 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide. For every $1USD spent  on qualifying revenue during stays, such as food and beverage, these members will now earn ten IHG Rewards Club points.

Visit www.ihg.com/rewardingexperiences to learn more about IHG Rewards Club rewards and experiences and to reveal your traveller type.

* Information and details courtesy of InterContinental Hotels Group and Ogilvy Public Relations *